The Heart Sutra is often cited as the best known and most popular scripture in zen. The Heart sutra describes the experience of liberation of the bodhisattva of compassion as a result of insight gained while engaged in deep meditation to awaken the faculty of wisdom. The insight refers to apprehension of the fundamental emptiness of all phenomena, known through and as the five aggregates of human existence: form, feeling, volitions, perceptions, and consciousness.
Logos from the Heart
The Essence of the Perfection of Understanding
Thus have I heard: The Awakened One of Great Compassion from the deep practice of wisdom perceived the emptiness of all things and delivered all beings from their suffering.
O Student, form is no other than emptiness, emptiness no other than form. Form is emptiness, emptiness form. The same is true of feeling, thought, impulse and consciousness.
O Student, all things are empty. They are not born nor annihilated. They are not defiled or immaculate. They do not increase or decrease, so in emptiness no form, no feeling, no thought no impulse, no consciousness.
No eye, ear, nose, tongue body, mind; no form, sound, smell, taste, touch, or objects of mind, no realm of sight; no realm of consciousness.
No ignorance, nor extinction of ignorance, no old age and death, nor extinction of them. No suffering, no cause of suffering, no cease of suffering, no path to lead out of suffering; no knowledge, no attainment, no realization for there is nothing to attain.
The Awakened One holds onto nothing but wisdom. Therefore the mind is clear of any delusive hindrance. Without hindrance there is no fear, away from all perverted views he reaches final Emptiness.
All the holy and wise Ones of past, present, and future through faith in wisdom attain to the highest perfect enlightenment.
Know then, the wisdom is the great prayer, the radiant peerless logos, the utmost supreme living word, which is capable of allaying all pain, this is true beyond all doubt.
Proclaim now the highest wisdom, the living word:
Gone, gone, gone to the other shore, already gone!
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